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Russell Crowe Has Fond Memories Of Gladiator (& Feels 'Slightly Jealous' About Gladiator 2)

Russell Crowe's storied career started off modestly enough as a pre-teen with an uncredited role in 1972's television series "Spyforce." Five decades later, though, Crowe has been nominated for three Academy Awards. While he didn't take home the golden statue for his work in "The Insider" or "A Beautiful Mind," Crowe did win the Oscar for actor in a leading role thanks to his performance as Maximus in "Gladiator." And, to tell the truth, Crowe does feel a little bit envious when it comes to the upcoming sequel, but it's only because he loved the first film so much.

"I mean, look, the only thing that I really feel about it is slightly jealous, you know?" Crowe told Perri Nemiroff in an interview with Collider. "Because I was a much younger man, obviously, and it was a huge experience in my life. It's something that changed my life, really. It changed the way people regarded me and what I do for a living." Whether "Gladiator 2" can live up to the fans' expectations (or the impressive box office receipts the first film posted) is still up in the air. But there's no question that "Gladiator" helped catapult Crowe to a new level of celebrity.

Crowe reminisces about Gladiator

Russell Crowe might be feeling nostalgic, or even experiencing envious emotion when it comes to his lack of participation in the upcoming "Gladiator 2," but that's just because the original film meant so much to him and his career. Now, even if Crowe really fought tooth and nail to come back, and wanted to be a part of the project, there's a small hurdle to clear: Maximus Decimus Meridius died at the conclusion of "Gladiator."

And since his character is deceased, Crowe will have to settle with feeling "slightly jealous" about the whole situation. But, make no mistake, in a world where Crowe has played everyone from Jor-El ("Man of Steel) to Javert ("Les Misérables") to Zeus ("Thor: Love and Thunder"), "Gladiator" means the world to the decorated thespian. "I've been very lucky to be involved in lots of big movies," Crowe said during his sit-down with Collider.

"But the legs on that film ['Gladiator'] are incredible," Crowe continued. "Here it is, it's 2023, and we made that film in 1999. I guarantee you, somewhere around the world tonight, 'Gladiator' is going to be showing on primetime TV. And you don't always get that kind of longevity with every film you do. So, it obviously holds a special place in my heart." Look for the Crowe-less "Gladiator 2" in 2024.